Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt
from the your-humanity dept
Normally, on the rare occasions that Mike's or my own comments win the top spots, I skip over them unless they are really important — since this post is all about highlighting reader comments. This week, however, our participation in the comments on our response to Trump's immigration ban dominated the leaderboards to such a degree (with one double-winner) that skipping them would mean going pretty far down the list, so this particular comment post will have to be more boastful than usual. And indeed, all of our top-voted comments this week come in response to that post.
That said, a reader still beat Mike and me out for first place on the insightful side. Roger Strong provided the very first comment on the immigration post, and racked up the points with a simple and appropriate quote:
"The way a government treats refugees is very instructive because it shows you how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it."
- Tony Benn, British Minister of Parliament for 47 years
In second place, we've got the first of Mike's several responses to our detractors on the post, in this case one who asserted that "no one except children are swayed by emotional arguments and cherry picking individual sufferers to form a platform which is ultimately harmful to society at large". Mike's response became a double winner, taking first place for Funny as well as second place for Insightful:
Really? Because that seemed to be the basis of the entire platform of the President of the United States.
For editor's choice on the insightful side, we'll start out with one more nod to Roger Strong for his activity on that post, in this case handily rebutting the argument that immigrants are a drain on the country:
You're making that up.
A more interesting look at the issue:
Wall Street Journal: Immigrants Founded 51% of U.S. Billion-Dollar Startups
...including Google, SpaceX, Tesla, Uber, Cloudfare and more.
And it doesn't even count second generation immigrants. For example Apple, founded by the son of a Syrian refugee and the son of Polish immigrants.
Which isn't at all surprising. When I was in high school it was the immigrants - from Asia, Russia, the Philippines, etc. - who did their homework and got the highest marks. They got the work ethic from their parents. Later I've worked for immigrants who set up businesses here.
We all know people with grand plans to improve their lives. They're going to move to the west coast. Or to Canada if the Republicans or Democrats win. They're going to save up, quit their jobs and go back to school. They're going to run for office and fix things. But most never do. They're stuck in the inertia of their own lives, unable to drop or stop making new commitments even in the long term. Or unable to save, or to put in the extra effort. Or just too nervous about taking a leap into a new life.
Immigration acts as a filter. You get only the people who DO the things they said. Who got over their fears. Who put in the extra effort and made the big leap.
These are the kind of people you want as citizens. The kind who ALSO tend to start businesses and create jobs. It's one reason why for immigration is a good deal for the countries they head for.
Next, we take a break from that post to look at one of the few clues we've gotten about the Trump administration's stance on copyright — a worrying editorial by one of his advisors who held up China's ability to disappear book publishers as a shining example of how IP enforcement is possible. Machin Shin was understandably horrified:
I must say, sure makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know people in our government are looking up to China and their ability to make people vanish.....
What the hell has happened to this country? We are supposed to be a shining example of freedom, not some twisted country drooling over the wonderful power of an authoritarian country.
It really sickens me to see what this country has become. Instead of the land of the free and home of the brave we have a bunch of cowering morons trashing all our freedoms. I would much rather live free and risk being killed from a terrorist attack than live under an oppressive government that is promising me a false safety.
Over on the funny side, we've already had our first place double-winner from Mike above, so we move on to the second place winner... me! There was some debate over Trump's precise attitude towards Mexicans based on rather generous interpretation of the precise words in his infamous "criminals and racists" speech. Personally, I found his final caveat to be less than convincing:
"Some, I assume, are good people" is right up there with "but I have [minority group] friends!" on the list of Shit Racists Say.
For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out on our post about John Carmack's comments on the code expert who attempted to demonstrate "non-literal copying" in the ZeniMax/Oculus trial. Hij figured the concept could be put to good use:
On the up side this just gave every student in a programming class a way out of completing their assignment. Instead of saying, "the dog ate my code," now students can say, "I wrote the code, but I cannot distribute it since it is under copyright."
Finally, we head to the story of the Mac repair company whose lawyer sent out baseless threatening letters, offering up little more than a "just following orders" excuse when pressed by Paul Alan Levy. Roger Strong (he had a lot of great comments this week) was curious about the marketing aspect:
And what does he call this service?
Fraud On Demand?
Chris Cammack's Barratry Emporium?
That's all for this week, folks!